The Laughlab, at www.laughlab.co.uk, was created by Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire in England for what he calls the most comprehensive study ever on the psychology of humor. Since it was launched in September, the site has collected more than 10,000 jokes and ratings from 100,000 people in 70 countries.
The following joke received the highest rating from 47 percent of people who participated:
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are going camping. They pitch their tent under the stars and go to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, Holmes wakes Watson up: “Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you deduce.”
Watson says, “I see millions of stars and even if a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like Earth, and if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life.”
Holmes replied: “Watson, you idiot, somebody stole our tent.”
The following joke rated a close second:
A couple of hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing. His eyes are rolled back in his head.
The other guy whips out his mobile phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator, in a calm soothing voice, says: “Just take it easy. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”
There’s silence, then a shot is heard.
The guy’s voice comes back on the line. He says, “Okay, now what?”
What do you think?